March 30, 2009

Broke as Character Test, or Truth Serum?

"A Cold Season in the Hamptons," so led off the New York Times article of rueing owners and their cooling real estate values in the area very near the town Business Week recently reported to be the nation's richest: Brookville, New York.

Well this line in the aforementioned article certainly caught my attention:

"Prices were propelled upward by a tautological justification: if you were rich enough to buy in the Hamptons, you were, by definition, a superior judge of the market."

Huh? That line disgusts me more than anything I have read in a long time. My dear reader, I say emphatically and passionately: Rich and stupid are NOT mutually exclusive character descriptors. In fact, in my experience, I've often seen such adjectives accurately strung across the same person.

Second thought: When things go sour is when you find out the truth about someone. It's not when fortunes are high, the sky is blue, hopes are coming to fruition, and you are livin' large that you get to know the truth about those with whom you are in relationship. (Includes relationship with yourself.)

I read the story of a family whose home was heavily damaged by multiple sprays of a skunk that was sort of trapped and burrowed under their house. It took two years to gut and essentially rebuild the house, making it liveable and ready for the family to return. Meanwhile, the stress helped to fatally fracture the marriage. Six family members moved out; two years later, only two returned to the five-bedroom home.

Whether it is your spouse, neighbor, office mate, or junior's baseball coach, when things go badly, true natures cannot help but be revealed. Like a ferocious wind, a Katrina-strong force, ripping away the facade, true colors come forth.

Hmmm... in this way, "broke" might act as a worthy threshold or test run for a relationship. Yeah, there is an upside here...

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